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A Dialogue Between Religion and Science

Autor:   •  February 22, 2013  •  Essay  •  3,243 Words (13 Pages)  •  524 Views

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SCIENCE-RELIGION DIALOGUE AND THE PROBLEM OF

DIFFERENCE IN DISCOURSE

INTRODUCTION

This seminar on religion (with special reference to Christianity) and science at the outset, I must confess, has changed and challenged very many of my assumptions not only with regard to science-religion dialogue but also my understanding of interdisciplinary engagements, the complexity involved in such projects. The materials given for study, during the course of the seminar, in fact, have exposed the varieties of approaches, methods, aims and conclusions. The authors, mostly, experts both in religion and specific branch of the science, not only that, but also from specific religious background, ecclesial affiliations and convictions have argued differently to the possibilities of religion-science dialogue. It has only asserted the multiplicity and complexity of the problem. It is, I think, an evidence for the ever recurred discussion during the course of the seminar on the problem of difference in discourse. This point came to occupy the central place of the seminar due to many questions raised during the time such as- what it means to engage in dialogue between science and religion?, what are the criteria and who decides upon them?, is there not some indications that one partner always seem to have upper hand?, is it, then, truly a dialogue?, what are the cultural implications of such dialogues? etc. However being convinced of this difference model from the discourse point of view (but not without struggle), at least towards the close of the seminar, I, in this paper, attempt to highlight the problems, involved in the religion-science dialogue as such and also with regards to other models, the difference model has pointed out. It asks us, I feel, to be aware of some pitfalls and possible dangers such as the simplistic overlaps and crossing of borders of the disciplines and discourses, misuse of language, arguments such as ‘god of the gaps’ that end up producing bad theology, or universalistic claim by both dialogue partners- thus leading to reductionist approach and so on. On the contrary this model helps us to respect the individuality of both religion and science and the equal necessity of both to make sense of different dimensions of the reality, and summons the dialogue partners to be aware of their own limitations. This approach, therefore, does not in any way diminish the importance or undermine the contributions of other methods that engage in science-religion dialogue. It only says we, better, be self-critical more than being apologetic. Such self-conscious move falls in line with the thought of previous pope John Paul II, who, even though encouraged dialogue, warned about “simple neutrality” or exaggerated claim of science playing unconscious theology and theology playing pseudo-science. On the contrary as

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